Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Boulevard

Boulevard
Starring:
Robin Williams 


Rated: R for language and sexual content.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: July 10, 2015 Released by: Starz Digital Media

Robin Williams' final live-action performance reveals snippets of subdued, spooky grace (he had better, read interesting material to work with in films like One Hour Photo) in an otherwise prosaic, and inadvertently anomalous affair.

In a tender, if trite Boulevard, helmed by Dito Montel, his loan officer Nolan Mack has led a life of quietly devoted, unhappy desperation. Though "content" in his marriage to Joy (Kathy Baker), a part-time teacher, he happens to pick up a young male, Roberto Aguire's Leo, who is a little surprised about Nolan's intentions.

It's clear Nolan is trying to break out of a routine, and whether he's done it before or not isn't the point. The interaction obviously takes on more of a familial slant once more pressure is put on Leo by his "boss".

A promotion may be in jeopardy when long-time employee Nolan shows up to the bank fifteen minutes late, and his literature teacher friend Winston (Bob Odenkirk of the small-screen spin-off Better Call Saul) oddly becomes more chary about him. About what Nolan is "hiding" Joy seems rather clueless about her husband before having more emotional confrontations scenes later on that, for many, will be the most resonant.

Not that there aren't instances where the simmering struggle between calm and instability are felt that Williams endowed in more potent ventures like The Fisher King and Good Will Hunting. A soundness and discrepancy just contradicts the reserved, if rigid sympathy allotted by Nolan to make Montel's ambitions a sharp, coherent variant on the likes of Beginners or Love Is Strange.

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